After years of aiming to attract each different age group, Netflix is now turning its focus to families. Even though there are more shows than ever (there were 412 original scripted series last year, more than twice the number seven years ago), the sort of family-friendly programming that used to dominate network lineups has become increasingly elusive. Netflix is determined to change this trend with a new slate of family-friendly programming. If Netflix’s plan works as intended, families will watch these new shows at home together, just like families did in the past.
As prominent family-friendly programming blocks gave way to reality shows, there was a significant space left in the market that no one was filling. Netflix found that on the weekends, viewership of its family-friendly movies rose, indicating that families were searching for things that they could all watch together. The company quickly began working on a slate of family-friendly programming that would be unique to its service. It now has at least six new family-oriented shows poised to hit the service by the end of 2017.
Netflix is kicking off its new family-friendly slate of shows on Friday with the reboot of “Full House,” titled “Fuller House.” The show stars many of the actors from the original series (with the notable exception of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen) and retains many of the qualities that made the original such a success.
The show is sure to be popular with Netflix’s 75 million viewers. One trailer for the show that didn’t even show any of the actors became the most viewed Netflix teaser ever, receiving more than 14 million views online. A “Fuller House” skit that aired on “The Tonight Show” last week has already been viewed more than 27 million times on Facebook.
Other family friendly shows in the works include “Haters Back Off,” a show starring the popular YouTube character Miranda Sings, created by Colleen Ballinger-Evans; “Stranger Things,” starring Winona Ryder; and a revival of “Gilmore Girls”. The company is also reviving the old animated series “Voltron” and creating two new animated series; “Green Eggs and Ham,” based on the Dr. Seuss book and “Trollhunters,” created by the filmmaker Guillermo del Toro.
Many of the new programs coming to Netflix were inspired by or directly lifted from movies and TV shows from the 1980s and 1990s. The company believes that this will attract the parents, while still being interesting enough for their children to enjoy with them. Netflix says that families, as an audience, has been forgotten and abandoned by traditional television networks. Its new offerings may help it attract even more defectors from traditional cable companies.